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April 28, 2008

Brooklyn Shocker!

Are the authorities in New York City aware that a religious group is unlawfully abducting citizens from public streets and holding them hostage for engaging in legal activity? And would anyone care to guess the “peaceful religion” engaged in this activity?

Don’t snap a photo of the Masjid At-Taqwa in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn unless you want to be hauled away by a group of angry Muslims in Islamic attire to the basement of the facility where a group of twenty “security guards” in karate suits will interrogate you. This might sound preposterous.

But it happened on Saturday, April 24, at 3:00 in the afternoon.

Ali Kareem, the head of security for Siraj Wahaj’s mosque, conducted the grilling. A small, muscular man with a wispy black beard that has been dyed red with henna, Kareem demanded to know the reason why a trio of kafirs had dared to photograph the building on a public street without securing his permission.

He further insisted on securing our identities and obtaining our motives for such a violation of Islamic space.

Being surrounded by a group of militant guards in a mosque basement from which there is no means of escape is not a comforting place to be for a Wall Street financier.

We tried to explain that we found the neighborhood with its halal meat vendors and food stores; Islamic dress shops, featuring the latest styles in burqas and hijabs; Muslim souvenir outlets, replete with bumper stickers stating “Don’t Be Caught Dead Without Islam”; and Middle Eastern restaurants offering a variety of goat dishes to be rather quaint and interesting.

This explanation was not sufficient.

Kareem was impatient and did not want a detailed explanation of the reason for our excursion (simple sight-seeing) or a graphic account of the sights we had seen and photographed.

“I ask the questions here,” he said, “and you provide the answers.”

Realizing that we were in a bit of a pickle, my companion explained that we were interested in various religions and knew Siraj Wahaj, the imam of the mosque, was a prominent Muslim figure whom we would like to interview for a news outlet.

This didn’t work too well since we could not produce a business card from a wacko blog, let alone credentials from a national publication.

At last, we blurted out that we were admirers of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) and wanted to obtain information about conversion. We were even knowledgeable enough to blurt out “Salaam” and “Allahu akbar.”

The last utterance seemed to be the “Open Sesame” that got us out of the basement and back to Bedford Street, where we managed to take a picture of the mosque before hailing a cab and making a getaway.

The experience was disconcerting. Surely, anyone who takes a picture of St. Patrick’s Cathedral or the Riverside Church is not hauled off to a basement for questioning by a threatening figure in a karate uniform and a band of Ninjas.

What we have here is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY being conducted by representatives/employees of the mosque in question. Being that this is the United States, any person of any religion is permitted to be on a public sidewalk in any neighborhood. They are even permitted to take photographs on a public street under virtually all circumstances.

But apparently the folks of Masjid At-Taqwa don’t think that they are in America – or that the rights of citizens in this country rank somewhere below their Islamic sensibilities. After all, what legal authority did Ali Kareem and his band of 20 kidnappers have to detain Bos Smith and Paul Williams? What legal authority did they have to question them, demanding identification and the justification for their legal actions on a city street? Could you imagine the outrage if a local synagogue or church did this to a group of Muslims or ethnic minorities? The forces of tolerance and multi-culturalism would be waxing hysterical about the hate crime that had been committed!

I appreciate Smith and Williams being willing to document this crime. I’d like to encourage them to report the offenses in question to the New York Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation – and to take their story to the local and national media.

After all, a bias crime is a bias crime, isn’t it?

H/T Jawa Report





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Midnight Sun posted this same basic article earlier if you want to check her out.

|| Posted by T F Stern, April 28, 2008 07:11 PM ||

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/29/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

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|| Posted by zcwzqbjnlne, October 20, 2008 10:05 AM ||
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